About Natasja Kensmil

Natasja Kensmil (Amsterdam, 1973) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and De Ateliers, both in Amsterdam. Kensmil lives and works in Amsterdam and is represented by Andriesse-Eyck Gallery.

In her work, Natasja Kensmil often refers to historical themes and the interaction between past and present (Living Ancestors). Contradictions such as power and powerlessness (Tsar, Elizabeth I), the worldly and the spiritual (Books of Hours) and sacrifice and violence (The Martyrdom of Tsar) play a major role. With their many details, layers and nuances, Kensmil’s large canvases confront us with the dark sides of our human existence and history.

In recent years, her work has been featured in various museum exhibitions, both in the Netherlands and abroad, e.g. at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), the Stevenson Gallery (South Africa), The Rubell Family Collection (Miami), the Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin), and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington).

Her solo exhibition Monument of Regents is currently on view in the Amsterdam Museum wing of the Hermitage, and a new work can be seen at the Fries Museum, as part of the exhibition Icons.

Starting on 25 September, Natasja Kensmil’s first retrospective in the Netherlands will be on view at Kunsthal KAdE. The exhibition A Poison Tree presents a cross-section of her oeuvre, from the earliest works from the late 1990s to recent series, and is accompanied by the publication of an critical catalogue by Alauda Publications and KAdE. A documentary about Kensmil, by director Lisa Boerstra, produced by Interakt, is expected soon.

On the occasion of the Johannes Vermeer Award, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science every year showcases a presentation, based on the work of the award winner, in the OCW window, an exhibition space right next to the entrance of the Ministry, at Rijnstraat 50 in The Hague. The presentation on the work of Natasja Kensmil will be on view from 1 November 2021 until the end of January 2022.

Natasja Kensmil received several awards for her work, including the Royal Grant for Free Painting (now the Royal Award) in 1998.